American workers are overwhelmed. After years of being asked to “do more with less” workers are overstretched, stressed out, and exhausted. The always-on, 24/7 American work culture is taking a heavy toll, leading to 429 million wasted vacation days that completely undermine personal well-being. In fact, Americans are taking the least amount of vacation in nearly 40 years. Vacations can have significant results in boosting a person’s health and well-being.
Some of the most compelling statistics in favor of vacations revolve around an individual’s heart health. According to a recent Health Net article:
- A study that followed 12,000 men over a nine-year period that had a high risk for coronary heart disease, found that the men who take frequent annual vacations were 21 percent less likely to die from any cause and were 32 percent more likely to die from heart disease.
- A second study – the largest and longest-running study of cardiovascular disease – revealed that men who didn’t take a vacation for several years were 30 percent more likely to have heart attacks compared to men who did take time off.
- In addition, women who took a vacation only once every six years or less were almost eight times more likely to develop coronary heart disease or have a heart attack compared to women who vacationed at least twice a year.
Beyond heart health, there is a case to be made for vacations helping to decrease depression, lessen stress and improve productivity. Health Net also cites other studies that find:
- Women who vacationed less often than once every two years were more likely to suffer from depression and increased stress than women who took vacations at least twice a year.
- Vacations work to reduce stress by removing people from activities and environments that tend to be sources of stress.
- For each additional 10 hours of vacation employees took, their year-end performance ratings improved 8 percent, and frequent vacationers also were significantly less likely to leave their job.
It is clear and proven that consistent work without taking a break is detrimental to a person’s well being. Yet workers are still not taking all of their earned vacation days. For a healthy lifestyle it is essential to try to vacation regularly. Timeshare owners are great at this, since by prepaying for their timeshare they will be more likely to take a yearly vacation…resulting in increased health and wellness benefits!